San Diego County Inmate Joseph Hill Died Following Attack At Pelican Bay State Prison In Crescent City

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA (September 28, 2023) – An inmate identified as Joseph Hill has tragically died in custody while staying at the Pelican Bay State Prison in Crescent City.

San Diego County officials are saying that the incident took place in the prison yard. Joseph Hill was attacked by two inmates with a manufactured weapon.

Correctional officers arrived at the scene and were eventually able to stop the attack. Joseph Hill was taken to the jail triage area before being transported to the hospital.

Sadly, he later died due to the severe nature of his injuries. A full investigation into the attack remains ongoing at this time.


Liability For San Diego County Inmate Deaths

Far too many inmates die in preventable attacks each year. According to the Prison Policy Initiative, “The number of homicides in state prisons reached a record high of 120 deaths in 2018, a reminder that while prisons are secure, they are largely unsafe. Violence in prison is commonplace, tied to trauma prior to incarceration as well as mental health stressors inside.” Prison officials should take a number of steps in order to prevent inmate homicides.

  • Jails should work with state officials to prevent overcrowding.
  • Jail officials should ensure correctional officers are well trained.
  • Jails should do everything in their power to avoid inmates from gaining access to weapons.
  • Jails should implement strategies to identify and manage gang affiliations.

Depending on the facts of any case, a jail could be liable for any instance where an inmate is killed in an attack by another inmate. Jails have a legal obligation to protect inmates from reasonably foreseeable sources of harm. When a jail has specific knowledge of particular threats and fails to act, this could form the basis of a constitutional claim. Victims of inmate attacks should take many steps to preserved their rights.

  • The incident should be properly documented.
  • Medical records should be preserved.
  • Surveillance footage should be sought.
  • An experienced civil rights attorney should be contacted.

It can be hard to know what to do after any attack at a prison. To make matters worse, jails are rarely transparent about deaths that take place in their care. Part of the problem is that many jails are simply indifferent about the well-being of the inmates that they are charged with protecting. The family of any person that died in custody may have legal recourse through a constitutional claim. A civil rights attorney can examine the unique facts of your case and let you know what your legal options are.


Investigating San Diego County Inmate Deaths

We at the Sehat Law Firm extend our deepest condolences to the family of Joseph Hill. Any person that may have more information about what happened should reach out to police. There are so many questions that still need to be answered about this incident. It is our hope that jail officials will consider measures to prevent similar tragedies.

Have you or someone that you care about been harmed while staying at the Pelican Bay State Prison in Crescent City? Our team of civil rights advocates are here to answer any questions that you may have. We care deeply that inmates are aware of their rights and that jails are upholding constitutional standards for inmate care. Whether you just have questions or need a free, independent investigation into any incident we are here for you. You can reach out to us anytime at (949) 825-5200.


legal disclaimer

Legal Disclaimer